Tag Archives: Academic

Exclusion of Hope & Emergence of Amazement

While on vacation, I actually finished the Walter Bruggeman book that I’ve been into for the past couple months (The Prophetic Imagination). Like I mentioned before, it’s can be pretty dense at times due to Bruggeman’s deep deep scholarship. Now that I’m all the way through it, I’ve noticed that the first half is the really heady part, and the second half is a lot more informal, even to the extent of being peppered with colloquialisms.

In Chapter 4, “Prophetic Energizing and the Emergence of Amazement” Bruggeman’s overarching idea for the chapter is that it’s

the task of prophetic imagination and ministry to bring people to engage the promise of newness that is at work in our history with God.

I found myself making a ton of margin notes as I read through, and so I thought those notes would make for a strong post here at the blog. I really hate seeing people quoted out of context, so I’ll throw in as big a chunk of Bruggie’s text as necessary, and then include the stuff I wrote in the margins.

In a section about how the royal consciousness excludes hope, Bruggeman asserts:

In concrete terms, technological, agricultural, and other social advances are impeded in aristocratic monarchies because the taxes, tithes, tribute, tolls, rents, and confiscations drain all the peasants’ resources and rationale for creativity; only the technology of warfare advances at a more rapid pace because that contributes to the expansion and control of the king and his entourage.

This may indeed be true for aristocratic monarchies. But how does this statement apply to my duty to bring prophetic energizing to my surrounding culture? How does this apply to the royal consciousness of my day, the MTV-driven, O.C.-addicted, celebreality-informed, consumerism-ensnared culture that surrounds me and the students I work with? Almost inarguably, that’s where the hope and newness from God most desperately needs to indwell.

I’m gonna break these Prophetic Imagination notes into multiple posts. So look for the next one soon.